KelexNow, this one is a character I didn’t see coming: in the opening sequence of Man of Steel, while we’re following Jor-El‘s adventures on Krypton, we can see a robot helper always following the scientist, and always helping him escaping from General Zod‘s men: it’s Kelex, whose voice is provided by Carla Gugino. This is quite an obscure character for whoever doesn’t read the comicbooks, but don’t worry, I’m here exactly to provide information about these unknown cameos. This is the very first live action appearance of Kelex, and it (she) is quite similar to its (her) comicbook version, even if aesthetically the robot’s design has been updated. Let’s see together.

Despite having a female voice in the movie, in the comics Kelex is supposed to be a male robot. He was built on Krypton, as one of the many servants of Seyg-El, from the famous and respected House of El. Kelex was somewhat defective, since he understood the livings’ emotions in much a deeper and wider way than the other robots. Kelex was assigned with the care of Jor-El, Seyg-El’s son, and he immediately understood that that single Kryptonian was different from all the others. He followed his master throughout all of his studies, until the day he found Jor-El extremely worried and nervous, an uncommon trait in him. Kelex warned his fellow servants to obey Jor-El’s orders the faster and the better they could, since he understood that something big was happening. Kelex himself helped Jor-El to bring his son, Kal-El, into the birthing matrix, and later into the ship that would have brought him to safety. Kelex stayed at Jor-El’s side when the core of Krypton became unstable, and ultimately exploded, destroying the whole planet: along with Kryptonopolis and the whole planet, also the faithful robot Kelex was destroyed and kelexcomics1erased from the universe.

Kal-El arrived on a distant planet, Earth, and grew up to become the world’s greatest and most powerful hero, Superman. One day, Superman found a Kryptonian device, called the Eradicator, that automatically started to recreate Krypton on Earth, beginning from the South Pole. The Man of Steel managed to stop the machine to save his adoptive planet, but not before it could build what would have become the Fortress of Solitude, a corner of Krypton on Earth that Superman adopted as his base. Along with the Fortress, the Eradicator built also a host of robotic servants, among which there was also a “reincarnated” version of Kelex. Always faithful to the House of El, Kelex became Superman’s main assistant, and he gained his trust to the point of becoming the Fortress’ caretaker. Unfortunately, since the Eradicator had been built by Kem-El (a distant, genocidal ancestor of Jor-El), he was a member of House of El too, and, when it came back to Earth as a being of pure energy (Superman had thrown it into the sun, destroying its physical body) Kelex helped him creating a new body for him, starting from Kal-El’s genetic pattern. When the real Superman was killed by Doomsday, the Eradicator used the new body Kelex built for him as a means to take upon himself the identity of the Man of Steel, along with Superboy and Steel. Kelex was almost destroyed twice after Superman’s resurrection, when the telepath Dominus brainwashed his master forcing him to destroy the Fortress of Solitude (with all the robots inside), and when Lex Luthor attacked his alien nemesis razing the Fortress. Kelex was severely damaged, and Superman managed to save only his head, making him able to speak again. Kelex’s head became the entrance to a ghost version of the Fortress, rebuilt in a dimensional pocket. He still had complete control of the Fortress, and also kelexcomics2managed to shut down a Superman Robot when it went mad and tried to kill Lois Lane, whom it was supposed to protect. Superman rebuilt also Kelex’ body the moment he fought Brainiac 13, and discovered that the alien cyborg was vulnerable to Kryptonian technology: complete again, Kelex led a team of Kryptonian robots against Brainiac, also giving instruction to Luthor (temporary an ally) on how to effectively attack the cyborg. Later, Kelex entered the services of John Henry Irons (the superhero Steel) and managed his company, the Steelworks, for a while. In this time, Natasha Irons, Henry’s niece, reprogrammed his personality matrix in order to update his vocabulary and to make him more user-friendly. Since then, Kelex calls Superman “the Big Blue” and cheers his masters with a “Yo mama!” everytime they come back.

Kelex is an extremely advanced robot, highly intelligent and with an uncommon understanding of human (or Kryptonian) emotions, due to a unique malfunction in his personality matrix. Loyal, faithful and helpful, Kelex knows how to make himself indispensable, even for the Man of Steel. He’s able to fly and to see through many visible spectra; seldom, he’s been installed some weapons to face emergency situations, but most of the time the control he has on the Fortress of Solitude’s systems is more than enough to keep any invader at bay.


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